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Examples of the plerergate polymorph.

A plerergate is a polymorph of an ant, also known as a replete or rotund, characterized by an enlarged abdominal area (the crop of the gullet) for the purpose of food storage.[1] This occurs in honey ants.[2] For example, the North American species Myrmecocystus mexicanus has select sterile workers act as plerergates or repletes during times of food scarcity. When the pleregates are fully engorged, they become immobile and hang from the ceilings of the underground nests. Other workers drain them of their liquid food stores to feed the rest of the colony.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Entomological Society of America (1908). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Entomological Society of America. p. 47. 
  3. ^ Conway, John R. "The Biology of Honey Ants."The American Biology Teacher. , Vol. 48, No. 6 (Sep., 1986), pp. 335–343.